I know we're all attached to our i-phone or blackberry (or both, good grief!) but can we just for a nanosecond, remember our priorities? Yes, I ™m talking to you. The svelte mom in your work-out clothes, hair pulled back in a pony, cruising through the produce at Target with your Venti vanilla soy latte in one hand, cell phone to ear in the other, while your tow-headed toddler is mumbling in the front seat of the shopping cart.
Turn the phone off. Put it in your purse. The world will continue to spin on its axis.
Here you come again. This time we pass in the cereal aisle. Still sipping, still chatting. I don't know if you realize, but your toddler is tugging on your fabulous Lululemon jacket and he seems to be trying to tell you something. I get it. I know how isolated you can feel as a stay-at-home mom, and how great it is to share a little gossip with a friend. But please, let's remember why you decided to stay at home in the first place.
Tell your friend you ™ll call her later.
You almost ran me over as we came around the paper product aisle. Though the phone's still pressed to your ear, it looks like you ™ve finished the Starbucks. At least I hope so. Your son has just tossed the cup down the aisle, and a Target employee is glaring at you. You ™ve decided to pay attention to your son (finally) by reprimanding him for being bad. Mission accomplished on his part, he got you to talk to him. You're now complaining very loudly about him and how cranky he is to your buddy on the cell. Poor kid. I start waving at him, and he's giggling, waving back as I turn the corner.
Your son is more important than any conversation you could be having right now.
We're in the frozen food section, and your boy recognizes me. He begins playing peek-a-boo with me so I play along. You're complaining to your friend that your husband never listens to you, and I ™ve gotta tell you, I ™m thinking it's karma baby. Uh-oh, looks like your phone cut out. Good time to refocus, get the shopping done, chat with your kid, and move on. No such luck. I can see the panic in your eyes as you redial twice, the relief when your friend answers. I ™m making faces at your son as I head toward the check-out aisle, you haven't made eye contact with him in the 30 minutes we ™ve been in this store.
Some day, you ™ll wonder why your boy doesn't want to open up to you.
As the Target employee scans the last of my groceries, your cart pulls up behind mine. Your son is so animated waving at me he almost falls out of the cart. You grab his arm, scream at him to sit down, and start loading your food onto the conveyor. With one hand of course, the other must continue to hold the phone so your conversation can continue. As I leave the store, waving to your son, I am so sad. For him. For you. If today's shopping trip is any indication, your son has learned from an early age that he must do something bad to get your attention. He has learned that strangers in the grocery store are more fun than mommy, and that mommy can't be bothered when she has that strange device pressed against her ear.
I hope when he gets his first cell phone, he's kinder to you than you were to him today.